Show and Tell in Your Speech Therapy Session

Show and Tell In Your Speech Therapy Session

Show and Tell

Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll

I’m sure many of your children or clients have participated in a little show and tell at school, but what about during speech therapy?

Recently I’ve started to include a show and tell segment during some of my speech therapy sessions. I do this primarily with my preschoolers and school aged children who have language delays/disorders or pragmatic/social skills impairments. This session portion is very effective in targeting an array of speech and language goals, including but not limited to: storytelling, recalling past events, answering questions, responding to requests, vocabulary building and much more.

Show and tell

Just the other day on of my clients brought in an art project he made at school. Sometimes he has difficulty attending and responding to requests. He also struggles to spontaneously share his thoughts when directly asked. I am working on a few goals with him, one which is:

Will respond to questions in a timely manner and provide new information in 4/5 trials with moderate support.

When my little client walked into my office, he greeted me and placed his art project on the table. His mother prompted him with “What did you want to show, Ms. Kim?” while looking in the direction of the art project.

Within a few seconds he said” bear”. I paused to see if he would include additional information, but he did not. So, I extended/expanded his response by saying, “You made a bear in school. It’s a white bear.” Then, I paused again to see if you would take a turn and provide more information and handed him his art project. As I mentioned, my client’s attention can be very short and fleeting at times, especially in the presence of others. Thus, his waiting and attending to a question is a big improvement in itself. Since he didn’t yet respond and I didn’t want him to lose his focus, I asked, “What type of bear is it?” while pointing to his art project. Then, he responded, “Polar bear. I made a polar bear in school.” Big smiles all around.

polar bear

 Photo Credit: ucumari

Eventually, the show and tell will become such a routine in my session (particularly for this client) that he will know that he has to greet me and then immediately tell me what he did or made in school. Since he struggles in recalling words, having the actual object to talk about is  VERY helpful. Having real objects to talk about can reduce the cognitive load of having to focus on the question, mentally picture past events, recall the word(s) and extract the appropriate answer(s).

How can you use show and tell during your session?

Please comment below! I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions.

Kimberly Scanlon, M.A. CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist, an author and a mother. As the owner of Scanlon Speech Therapy, LLC, a unique boutique practice in Bergen County,
Kimberly embraces individuality and treats the whole person. Her goal is to spread compassion, hope, and some speech, language and literacy tips one moment, one person at a time.  Her first book, My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development and her second book, Learning to Read is a Ball are available for purchase at online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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